The Rat in the Year of the Water Tiger 2022

Rat Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is a Rat?

To have your own personal forecast drawn up go here.

Years:         1948, 60, 72, 84, 96, 2008.
Month*:      December
Hour:          11:00 pm – 01:00 am
Day:            you’ll need a Chinese Calendar. 

* Caution: Chinese Solar Months can start as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year.

What is a Rat?

The Rat is yang Water but with a hidden stem of yin Water, that is to say they are 100% Water, the only Chinese Animal that is so pure. All Water on this planet, unless interfered with by outside forces, is connected with and on the same level as all other Water. Sea level at Zeebrugge is the same as sea level at Miami. If I spill my cup of tea here in Surrey and you spill yours in Taiwan, sooner or later they’ll mix. It may take aeons but they’ll mix. Perhaps that clarifies the connection between Water and communication.

Someone said that we have two ears and one mouth for a good reason: that we should listen twice as much as we speak. The issues relating to Water are listening and speaking while keeping the ratios right. The Rat can easily miss this. Some of us are elected primarily to talk and the yang Water of the Rat says it’s you. The Rat is the talker of the Chinese Zodiac. As you know, an unbalanced or distressed Rat tends to clam up or run off at the mouth. Which will it be?

Interestingly both Prince Harry and his father Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales are Rats. Charles’ career has been one of juggling his often outspoken opinions with the privilege of his position. I observed some while ago that Harry’s lessons might correspond; wise Rats tend to blurt or have learned to be shtum. Under considerable provocation Harry seems to have learned from his father’s example. Uncle Andy (1960 Metal Rat) not so much; he may embody the equal & opposite Rat quality of secrecy; the Rat who sits among the rafters above the dinner table. He will be under the bus when the Queen dies, as soon as Charles’ feet are under the desk btw.

The Rat is supreme in the realm of ideas. It is said that when you can tell Fire and Water apart, you are their master. The blue of the sky at mid-summer, for instance is not Water but Fire. Who can identify this consistently? The Rat who is a planner and a plotter and a deep thinker, is the most likely candidate. He thinks ahead, sometimes to the detriment of his awareness of the present. This makes him a good chess player but not so great at poker. He is apt to be too controlling for games that require openness – even to good fortune. That sort of uncertainty can be painful. Your average Rat wants the credit and to get that he has to be in control.

In conversation you may find that the mature Rat second guesses in a very distinctive way: typically he gets his correspondent to commit to a position before he states his; a very useful quality in a teacher but not everyone’s cup of tea in a collaborator. The Dragon and the Monkey, even the Ox, may find this reassuring but it drives the Horse and the Tiger wild and to some extent even the Dog. 1936 Rat Derek Walters is just this kind of Rat teacher and very effective too.

Being big talkers and travellers, Rats are traditionally suited to work involving communication: sales, oratory and persuasion. In the collaboration with the Rabbit, Rooster and Horse that Derek Walters called the Flowers of Love, the Rat is the talker, the chatter-up if you will, where the Rooster provides the glamour, the Horse the passion and the Rabbit the accommodation. A Rat with the assistance of these other Animals is effortlessly successful and charismatic. Whichever of this quartet may be missing at any given time indicates his weaknesses.

None of the others however is ever much at ease alone in the company of the Rat. The Rooster appears to be on another planet which can make the Rabbit resentful, especially if that Rabbit is parent or child to the Rat; yang Water is a little too much for the Rabbit’s delicate yin Wood. Creed, Black Panther and Just Mercy star Michael B Jordan has just these dynamics to juggle.

An unbalanced Rat talks too much and listens selectively. A balanced one gets it exactly right; he is fascinating talker and a skilled listener. But this wilful deafness can be a point of pride. Blessed with an orderly mind and excellent retention, a Rat can consider his ignorance of a subject a reflection upon the subject rather than upon himself. This sort of Rat needs to learn to value the convictions of others, especially if they are derived from premises he does not accept.

The mature Rat is often a guardian, a watcher. Sometimes he is self-appointed and unbalanced, a Rat can display a particular blindness that leads him to believe that his opinion is an absolute. This is more accentuated and less well-informed in his partner the Ox in what some call the House of Creativity (or cleverness perhaps). The relationship between the Ox and the Rat is less that of partners than of pupil and tutor but the Ox can be a particularly obdurate and dominating learner, sometimes drawing conclusions to which he is not entitled and sticking like a limpet to any conclusion he can justify. In these circumstances the Ox is not so much partner or even student of the Rat as tormentor. When Ox and Rat are together it is the Ox who calls the tunes.

A very conscious Rat can make good use of his blindness to the value of other people’s positions. She is likely to be able to explain things that baffle others and to derive laws from this gift. To have no explanation however is to open up to chaos. If he knows this about himself he can master even the most abstract discipline.

The Rat is versatile and multi-talented though not as notably so as the Pig of whom he is often jealous or the Dragon who can baffle him despite their mutual affinity. The yang Water of the Rat can speak of profligacy with money. Rats are brilliant small businessman but often poor tycoons. In the power triad with the Dragon and Monkey, the Rat may appear to overvalue the hands-on deftness of the Monkey to the detriment of the Dragon because he finds the Monkey easier to control and may envy the Dragon his magic. Twin Rats Robert Plant and John Bonham and Monkey Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (formed in the Monkey Year of 1968) may be a good example of this creative tension.

And it is this potential for envy that is the other big weakness of the Rat. Often in dispute with Horses, the full-on spontaneity of Fire draws resentment from certain Rats. He can’t admire what he can’t himself master. This can lead to him not getting credit for originality of mind. Consider Water Rat Alan Turing of Imitation Game fame who was not exonerated of the “crime” of homosexuality let alone appreciated until decades after his miserable death. And finally the Rat can be a fickle partner but an attentive parent, albeit one who may have favourites. The awakened Rat is absolutely even-handed; that in itself is quite a gift.

Richard Ashworth © 2022

The Rat in 2022

The Tiger brings action to the Rat, helping to move your creative plans into reality. There’s a chance to move up to that board position you see yourself in if you act this year.  Other Rats may move house or job, or feel restless – if you want to avoid this, go travel.

Your ideas flow. Like you, the Tiger has a strong independence about him, and this independence of mind will feel familiar to you, comforting even.

There’s a chance of loss, and it could feel painful. Know however that endings also bring the opportunity for beginnings – bold beginnings – and you as the Rat know all about beginnings, it’s how you operate.

As we journey through the year, you may have the experience that the year (or someone or something) is controlling you in the first quarter.  Come summer however you’ll be feeling in control of things and your inspirations will follow, windfalls possibly too. In the second half of the year you’ll be fully in your creative zone – time to make those ideas come true.

It’s not obviously a year for romance, although the first half is more helpful than later in the year.  You may feel lonely, but know that coupling up may not be the answer for this and you’ll need to dig deep to reveal what relationship really means for you – it may not be conventional, and it may be that sleeping separately actually suits you very well. Ultimately, it is your choice, and your job is to get in touch with this.

Honest communication is what is needed, which is always so but particularly this year and particularly so if you are in a relationship – remember that you are naturally skilled at articulating your feelings, continue to do this and you’ll likely need to coax your partner to do the same.


  • Yeung yan
  • Hong yim sat
  • Loy Hong
  • Yute Duk
  • Yik ma
  • Goo san

Helpful friends:  Monkey, Dragon and Ox.

Best months: January, April, August.

Zoë Vita James | Classical Feng Shui & Ba Zi


Connect on Instagram: @zoevitajames

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© Richard Ashworth 2022